Bullying: How does your school rate?
We can agree that if your child is the victim of bullying it can be a very big deal, a traumatic experience. What are our schools doing to address and combat what appears to be an increase in bullying in our schools? How about using ‘Little People’ as part of your Bullying Awareness Program? That is exactly what a school in Spring Hill, Florida decided to do.
The John D. Floyd Elementary School for Environmental Sciences hosted an all-day event that focused teaching its students how to respect each other – the presenters were ‘Dwarfs’ or commonly referred to as ‘Little People’. The school partnered with the Hernando Sheriff’s Department and two ‘Little People’ who grew up with dwarfism. Undoubtedly, these two men probably received their fair share of bullying throughout their childhood. And I might venture to add, during their adult years as well from individuals who don’t know any better.
While this was just a one-day event and a positive start, what about the rest of the school year? We want to believe that our schools don’t and won’t tolerate bullying. But as a parent do you know if your child’s school has a program in place to deal with bullying or any other type of conflict? Have the teacher’s gone through training to be able to address these problems? Is there a contact person that parents can go to if they have a complaint? These are all valid questions that should be asked when enrolling your child into a school, including a before- or after-program.
Bully Prevention, Peer Mediation, or Conflict Resolution Programs, should all have a place in our school’s programming. We can talk about the cost of implementing these programs, or the fact that our school boards don’t have the money. But the truth of the matter is, our children and teachers alike need access to these programs especially when we see, hear, and read more and more about cyber-bullying, increased violence in schools, on school buses, shootings on school campuses – the list goes on and on. How many children and teens have to die before we stop talking about addressing these issues, and start addressing them? A modest but consistent prevention can go a long way to making our schools safer, providing our children a sense of security in a learning environment where they should be free to learn and not continually worry about school violence.